How to Decorate a Plastic Pumpkin for Family Fun: 9 Steps
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A plastic pumpkin can be used again next year.

If you try to carve a pumpkin at Halloween, you may be greeted with cries of, "can I have a go?" or "when will it be finished?" as well as a lot of cleaning up. Decorating a plastic pumpkin means your kiddo can join in and you shouldn't have as much mess and stress. He can take part in activities that will teach him about shapes and spiders, give him a sensory experience and work on his creative skills, with a spooky decoration to be proud of at the end.


  1. 1
    Pull cotton balls apart to create some cobweb to hang on your pumpkin -- your kiddo probably won't need much encouragement to take part in this sensory activity. Hook the cobweb material over the pumpkin stem, leaving space on one side for the face.
  2. 2
    Pour some black poster paint into a bowl, then have your kiddo scoop some onto a spoon and drip a blob onto a piece of white card stock -- don't forget to cover your table before this activity. Show him how to turn the blob into a spider for his web by dragging legs out from the wet paint with a pencil. Talk about how a spider has eight legs -- you could ask him, "do you think it would be hard to walk on all those legs?" Cut the spider out when it is dry and hook it into the web.
  3. 3
    Design a spooky face for his pumpkin on a piece of white paper. You could suggest triangles for the eyes and nose and a zigzag line for the mouth. When he is happy with his design, help him recreate this in black paint on the front of his pumpkin. Don't worry if it goes wrong; the paint will wipe off easily while it is still wet.
  4. 4
    Roll a piece of black card stock into a cylinder shape until it is the right size to fit on top and join with clear adhesive tape to make a top hat for his pumpkin. Look at each other through it and talk about the 3D shape you have made.
  5. 5
    Stand your cylinder on another piece of card stock and have your toddler draw around it -- tell him, "look, you have made a circle." You now need to draw another circle around this one, 1 or 2 inches bigger. If you are lucky, you will have a plate in your kitchen that is just the right size; if not, you will have to draw it freehand.
  6. 6
    Cut around the big circle and cut a hole in the middle along the lines of the smaller circle.
  7. 7
    Cut tabs around the bottom of your card stock cylinder about an inch apart and half an inch deep and have your kiddo fold these up.
  8. 8
    Attach the rim to your cylinder with glue or clear adhesive tape using these tabs. The advantage of using tape is that you will not have to listen to cries of, "is it dry yet?" from your own little pumpkin.
  9. 9
    Place the top hat on his pumpkin and take a photograph of this crowning moment.


  • Swap paint for black felt tip pens for a less messy project.


  • Do not leave a toddler or preschooler unsupervised with a pencil as it could cause an injury and the lead could be poisonous if he puts it in his mouth.

EditThings You'll Need

  • Black non-toxic
  • Tempera or poster paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Spoon
  • White card stock, 1 sheet
  • Black card stock, 2 sheets
  • Cotton balls
  • Scissors
  • Sheet of paper
  • Crayon
  • Pencil
  • Clear adhesive tape
  • Instructions

Article Info

Categories: Education and Communications

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